News Roundup: Social media sites become publishers in response to Infowars hate speech

News Roundup: Social media sites become publishers in response to Infowars hate speech

A roundup of this week’s technology news including mobile security, the ongoing Huawei and ZTE saga and Silicon Valley canteens.


Since the rise of social media, there’s been a long-standing debate about whether sites like Facebook and Twitter are actually publishers or media companies, rather than just technology platforms. Facebook seems to change its answer to this question, depending which decision it’s trying to defend and this week the platform, alongside YouTube, Apple and Spotify decided that they do have editorial oversight, removing accounts and content relating to Infowars founder and right-wing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones.

Facebook unpublished four of Jones’ pages citing “repeated violations of community standards”. YouTube removed his account altogether because Jones had been continuing to appear in videos despite having already been handed a 90-day ban, and Spotify removed one of his podcasts because it contained “hate content”.

Perhaps most controversially, Twitter decided not to impose any sanctions on Jones – who coincidently broadcast his response to the removals via the live streaming app Periscope which was acquired by Twitter back in 2015.

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Charlotte Trueman

Charlotte is Staff Writer at IDG Connect

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